Although the draft was over, the Pacers weren’t finished adding players to their pipeline on Thursday night, as the team signed Ohio State’s Duane Washington Jr., the nephew of five-time NBA Champion Derek Fisher, to a two-way contract, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Johnson, who led the Buckeyes with 16.4 points on 41-37-83 shooting splits as a junior, boosted his draft stock enough at the G League Elite Camp in Chicago to be one of four participants among the 40-player showcase to earn an invitation to the NBA Draft Combine.
Ohio State's Duane Washington going up strong in transition at the NBA Combine yesterday with Isaiah Todd trailing. pic.twitter.com/KIfLekeh2A— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 24, 2021
As a solid three-point shooter, who hit 38 percent of his attempts from deep over the last two seasons, Washington isn’t an explosive athlete, but the combination of his ability to stretch the the floor matched with his crafty handle suggests he may be able to mosey into the lane with his smooth change of speed and score in a variety of ways while splitting time between Fort Wayne and Indy. Defensively, assuming the Pacers value positional versatility, he’ll have more to prove as a 6-foot-3 shooting guard, particularly in switching schemes.
“Being a guard, I can play on the ball and I can play off the ball,” Washington said during his pre-draft interview with the Hornets at the start of July. “If needed to run the one, that’s something I can do and I can do pretty well.”
Next season, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, the league expects to once again abandon the 45-day limit two-way players can spend with an NBA team in favor of capping the number of games they can be active — which was 50 during this past season’s 72-game schedule.
In addition to Washington, the Pacers have reportedly agreed to a training camp deal with Austin Peay guard Terry Taylor and received a summer camp commitment from Bennie Boatwright of the G League’s Memphis Hustle along with Jordan Bone, who has been a two-way player for the Pistons and Magic, and Tyrone Wallace, who averaged 16.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists in the G League bubble with Agua Caliente.